SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Dan Stapleton from Madison has been setting up shop at the Sioux Empire Fair for almost three decades.
“I started it in 1990 and haven’t figured out a way to quit,” Stapleton said.
The retired military man works most days from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. the next morning. He says this week has been busy with all the nice weather and bands in the grandstand.
Stapleton says sales are up this year at his funnel cake shop. He says it’s the best it’s been in seven years.
“Crowds this year are quite a bit up. They’re doing real well. Every night is as good if not better than last year. My hats off to the fair folks for putting on the events at night, the headliners. They’re amazing. They’re bringing out people,” Stapleton said.
It’s a solid boost after last year saw parts of the fair shutdown because of heavy rain.
“We’re nine days and it’s all outdoors so we’re dependent on the weather. We’re very grateful that we’ve had good weather this year,” Courtney Drenth said.
Drenth with the Sioux Empire Fair says Keith Urban kicked things off in style last Friday and fans are looking forward to comedian Jeff Foxworthy this Friday.
“We’ve had a completely different start compared to last year. We had to shutdown a couple nights last year because of poor weather. We had strong winds. One day we had to delay opening because we had vendor tents blow over, porta-potties blow over and and garbage blow over,” Drenth said.
“With the delay last year, we had less people compared to this year where we’ve had great weather the whole fair,” Drenth said.
The fair is already planning ahead for next year. On Friday, it was announced that country music band Old Dominion is coming on August 6, 2020. Tickets go on sale this August 16.